|Publication number||US7512448 B2|
|Application number||US 10/340,529|
|Publication date||31 Mar 2009|
|Filing date||10 Jan 2003|
|Priority date||10 Jan 2003|
|Also published as||CA2512794A1, CA2512794C, DE602004024956D1, EP1584216A2, EP1584216B1, EP2169982A2, EP2169982A3, US20040138723, WO2004064450A2, WO2004064450A3|
|Publication number||10340529, 340529, US 7512448 B2, US 7512448B2, US-B2-7512448, US7512448 B2, US7512448B2|
|Inventors||Crista Malick, Xie Qi, Mitesh Parikh, Steve Franke, Douglas L. Jones, Jeffery B. Larsen, Christopher D. Schmitz, Francois Callias|
|Original Assignee||Phonak Ag|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (105), Non-Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (23), Classifications (10), Legal Events (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to communication systems, and more particularly, but not exclusively, relates to communication between hearing system devices.
Various approaches have been suggested to communicate between electronic devices carried on a person's body. Of particular interest is the communication between components of a hearing system. Such systems frequently include a signal processor, one or more microphone units, and/or hearing stimulus units spaced apart from one another relative to a user's body. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/805,233 filed on Mar. 13, 2001; Ser. No. 09/568,435 filed on May 10, 2000, and Ser. No. 09/568,430 filed on May 10, 2000; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,222,927 B1 are cited as further sources concerning various hearing systems.
Interconnecting body-carried components for hearing aids and other applications with wires or cables to facilitate electrical or optical communication between the components is generally undesirable. Indeed, wireless Radio Frequency (RF) communications through the atmosphere or an earth ground have been suggested to address this shortcoming. However, communication through the transmission of signals in this manner also has certain drawbacks, such as the potential for interference by stray signals, the difficulty of incorporating needed elements into a size and form factor that can be comfortably worn by the user, and/or the likelihood of a high degree of signal attenuation. Accordingly, there is an ongoing demand for further contributions in this area of technology.
One embodiment of the present invention includes a unique communication technique. Other embodiments include unique apparatus, systems, devices, and methods for communicating signals.
A further embodiment comprises a hearing system device that is configured to be worn on or in the ear of a user. The device includes a pair of electrodes disposed along the device to be placed proximate to or in contact with the user's skin. The device includes circuitry to transmit and/or receive time varying electrical signals through the person's body via the electrodes. In one form, the device is shaped to be received in the user's ear canal with the electrodes contacting skin along a top portion and a bottom portion of the canal. In another form, the device is shaped to be worn behind the ear with electrodes spaced apart from one another. In yet another form, the device is shaped to be worn behind the ear and is symmetric about a plane to facilitate interchanging it between the right and left ears.
Yet a further embodiment includes: providing a hearing system device including a first electrode and a second electrode; positioning the device in an ear canal or behind the ear of a user, placing the electrodes along corresponding skin regions; and generating a time varying electric potential between the electrodes to transmit information to another hearing system device utilizing the person as an electrical signal transmission line between the devices. When in the ear canal, the electrodes are generally disposed opposite one another to contact or be placed proximate to skin along top and bottom portions of the ear canal. For the behind-the-ear form, the electrodes are spaced apart from one another so that one is positioned along a skin region above an uppermost extreme of the concha of the ear and another is positioned along a skin region below this extreme.
Still another embodiment includes providing a housing for a hearing system device and a pair of electrodes; determining a maximum desired capacitance between the electrodes when carried by the housing and placed in contact with skin of a user; and disposing the electrodes along the housing with a separation distance, shape, and size to operate with a capacitance at or below the maximum desired capacitance and provide skin contact unbroken by normal body movements. In one form the device is of an In-The-Ear (ITE) canal type and in another form the device is of a Behind-The-Ear (BTE) type.
For a further embodiment, a hearing system device carried with the ear of a person and adapted to contact the person's skin, includes circuitry and a pair of electrodes each coupled to the circuitry. One or more of the electrodes are carried within the interior of the device and are spaced apart from one another to operate as a dipole antenna to selectively communicate information through the person as the hearing system device is carried with the ear.
Yet another embodiment includes a hearing system device with circuitry, a first member shaped to be carried behind the ear of a person, and a second member shaped to be placed in the ear canal of the person. The first member includes a first electrode to be placed in close proximity to or contact with a first skin region comprised of one or more of skin on a pinna, on a cranial region, and of a juncture between the pinna and cranial region for the ear. The second member includes a second electrode to be placed in close proximity to or contact with a second skin region along the ear canal. At least one of the first member and the second member carry the circuitry which is coupled to the first electrode and the second electrode to selectively communicate information through the person as the hearing system device is carried with the ear.
Another embodiment includes: providing a first device including a first electrode, a second electrode, a third electrode, and circuitry coupled to each of these electrodes; placing the first device in a position relative to a body of a person to put the electrodes in close proximity to or in contact with corresponding skin regions of the person; and electrically transmitting information through the body with each of a number of different pairings of the first electrode, the second electrode, and the third electrode.
In still other embodiments, multiple hearing system devices can be utilized between which one-way or two-way communication can occur via electrode pairs operating as dipole antennae. These devices can include a control device that has an interface for optional communication with an off-body unit. Alternatively or additionally, such further devices can include an implant unit. Multiple device systems can be used for intrabody communication via electrode pairs for purposes other than implementation of a hearing system. By way of nonlimiting example, such body worn devices as a headset with one or more earphones and/or one or more microphones, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, a medical monitoring or treatment device, and the like are among those types of devices that could be used for purposes other than to enhance normal hearing or impaired hearing of a person.
One object of the present invention is to provide a unique communication technique.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a unique apparatus, system, device, or method for communicating signals.
Further objects, forms, embodiments, features, aspects, benefits, and advantages of the present invention shall become apparent from the detailed drawings and descriptions provided herein.
In the following figures, like reference numerals represent like features. In some cases, the figures or selected features thereof are not drawn to scale to enhance clarity.
While the present invention may be embodied in many different forms, for the purpose of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications in the described embodiments, and any further applications of the principles of the invention as described herein are contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
One embodiment of the present invention is directed to an intrabody communication system that utilizes the user's body as an electrical signal transmission line. In one form, this system is utilized to provide a Body Area Network (BAN) to communicate between various body-worn devices, such as a headset with one or more earphones and/or one or more microphones, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, a medical monitoring and/or treatment unit, and the like. In another form, this system is utilized to communicate between components of a hearing system to enhance normal hearing or impaired hearing of a person.
Referring also to
Devices 40 a and 40 b each include a pair of electrodes 32 configured to contact skin S of body B along respective ear canals C1 and C2, and/or be placed in close proximity to skin S. As used herein, “close proximity” between two objects means within two (2) millimeters of one another. Electrodes 32 operate to transmit and receive signals through skin S of the body B by utilizing body B positioned between devices 40 a and 40 b to communicate information-containing electrical signals. For the purposes of such communications, it has been found that the performance of electrodes 32 can, as a pair, be modeled as a near-field electromagnetic signal radiator and receptor of a dipole antenna type, utilizing skin S and/or other tissues of body B as transmission media. Accordingly, each pair of electrodes 32 of devices 40 a and 40 b are also designated as dipole antenna 32 a in
As illustrated in the schematic diagram of
Housing 41 a and 41 b each define a respective cavity 43 a and 43 b, that each contain circuitry 48. As shown in
Signal processor 48 a may be comprised of one or more components of a digital type, analog type or a combination of these operable to perform desired operations as described hereinafter. Signal processor 48 a can be of a programmable variety responsive to programming instructions stored in memory of a volatile and/or nonvolatile type, be of a dedicated hardwired logic variety, and/or execute logic defined by both dedicated hardware and program instructions. Signal processor can include only a single central processing unit or a number of processing units. For multiple processing unit embodiments, parallel and/or pipeline processing may be utilized. In one form, signal processor 48 a is based on a customized, digital signal processor in the form of a solid-state, integrated circuit device.
As used herein, “transceiver” refers broadly to any device having a capability to transmit and receive information. Transceiver 48 b includes a transmitter (not shown) and receiver (not shown) both coupled to electrodes 32 to transmit and receive information-containing electrical signals. These electrical signals are typically transmitted in a modulated format that conveys digital information, including but not limited to one or more of the following: Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK), a Frequency Shift Keying (FSK), Phase Shift Keying (PSK), Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), or Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM), Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), or spread spectrum techniques. Alternatively or additionally, an analog signal format and/or modulation technique (such as analog Amplitude Modulation (AM) or Frequency Modulation (FM)) can be utilized. The transmitter includes a drive amplifier to output an electrical signal that generates a desired electric potential level across electrodes 32 while in contact with skin S. Components of transceiver 48 b are selected to provide a desired level of impedance matching with skin S, including, but not limited to baluns, predefined cable lengths, and/or other passive components, just to name a few.
Circuitry 48 further includes any power supplies (not shown), filters, signal conditioners, format converters (such as analog-to-digital and/or digital-to-analog converters), volatile memories, nonvolatile memories, and the like desired to perform its operations. Electrical power can be provided in the form of an electrochemical cell or battery and/or a different source as would occur to those skilled in the art.
Referring generally to
To communicate from one of devices 30 to another of devices 30, signals from signal processor 48 a of the transmitting device 30 are encoded with the corresponding transceiver 48 b and output as a time-varying electric potential across electrodes 32 of such device 30. The receiving device 30 detects the time-varying electrical signals with its transceiver 48 b and decodes such signals for use by its signal processor 48 a. The preferred range of carrier frequencies for such information-containing electrical signals is in a range of about 3 MegaHertz (MHz) through about 30 GigaHertz (GHz). A more preferred range is about 10 MHz through about 1 GHz.
This form of electrical signal communication uses skin S and/or other tissues of body B as a transmission line, such that at least two spaced apart electrodes, forming a dipole antenna, contact or are in close proximity to body B at each transmission and reception site. In contrast, other techniques have at most only one contact pathway, relying instead on a pathway through Earth ground or the atmosphere to provide an electrical potential difference necessary to provide a closed loop pathway for electrical signal communication. In
Consistent coupling of electrodes 32 to skin S is generally desirable because it provides for more consistent transmission characteristics of electrical signals through body B. It has been found that the anterior and posterior sides of the ear canals tend to change shape with nominal movements of the jaw, such as talking and eating, making consistent contact with electrodes 32 of devices 40 a and 40 b difficult. In contrast, movements of the top and bottom portions of the ear canals with nominal jaw movements are generally much less. Accordingly it has been advantageously discovered that more consistent contact between electrodes 32 and skin S within the ear canal can be achieved by placement of the electrodes 32 in a manner to contact and/or be proximate to skin S along the top and/or bottom portions of the ear canal (such as skin regions 26 a, 26 b, 28 a, and 28 b).
In another aspect, disposing antennae pairs on opposite sides of housing 41 a and 41 b has been found to reduce capacitance between antennae that also provides a more desirable impedance level for communications via human skin. Nonetheless, in other embodiments, one or more electrodes (antennae) may be located along skin in an anterior or posterior region along the ear canal and/or two or more electrodes (antennae) may not be positioned opposite one another. As used herein, “upper,” “lower,” “top,” “bottom,” “anterior, “posterior,” “front,” and “back” refer to relative positions of features of a user's body when the user's body is in an upright sitting or standing position.
Continuing with this mode of operation, once each device 40 a and 40 b is positioned, the corresponding sensors 45 are utilized to pick up sound which is converted into an electrical input signal that is provided to circuitry 48. The sound signals from the spaced apart sensors 45 can be utilized to selectively enhance sound originating from a particular direction relative to sounds (noise) from other directions utilizing a fixed or adaptive beamforming routine, and/or other binaural signal processing routine for a hearing aid or system as described, for example, in International Patent Applications Nos. PCT/US01/15047, PCT/US01/14945, or PCT/US99/26965; U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 09/805,233, 09/568,435, or 09/568,430; and/or U.S. Pat. No. 6,222,927 B1. To perform such procedures, at least one of devices 40 a and 40 b receives sound-representative signals from sensor 45 of the other of devices 40 a and 40 b to generate an enhanced output signal for one of stimulators 47 to stimulate hearing of the user. To generate output signals for both stimulators 47, bidirectional communications between devices 40 a and 40 b are envisioned as part of the execution of routines of the type referenced hereinbefore. Further, communications between device 40 a and 40 b can be desired to share processing workload between the corresponding signal processors 48 a in a distributed manner and/or to perform diagnostic or troubleshooting routines of one device 30 with another device 30. Alternatively or additionally, other processing techniques can be used to provide a desired type of hearing stimulus that utilizes one-way or two-way intrabody communication of electrical information-containing signals via electrodes 32. While devices 40 a and 40 b are shown as being of an In-The-Ear (ITE) type, one or more of these devices can be of a Completely-In-The-Ear-Canal (CIC) type or Behind-The-Ear (BTE) type.
Referring additionally to
Electrodes 132 are each comprised of a metallic member 134 and a dielectric layer 136 at least partially covering the metallic member 134 as best shown in
Housing 141 is generally symmetric about a plane that intersects contour 141 a. This plane of symmetry (POS) is perpendicular to the view plane of
In one preferred embodiment of devices 140 a and 140 b, antenna constituents 142 and 144 are separated from one another along contour 141 d by at least 10 millimeters to reduce capacitance therebetween. In a more preferred embodiment, the separation distance between antenna constituent 142 and 144 along contour 141 d of housing 141 is at least 15 millimeters. In a still more preferred embodiment, this separation distance is at least 20 millimeters. Alternatively or additionally, antenna constituent 142 and 144 are arranged along housing 141 so that antenna constituent 142 contacts or is in close proximity to skin region 126 a above an uppermost extreme 129 a of concha C of the ear and antenna constituent 144 contacts or is in close proximity to skin region 126 b at a level below extreme 129 a as illustrated in
Implant 140 c is illustrated in
Communication between implant 140 c and one or more of devices 140 a and 140 b can be by a wire or cable connection, through magnetic induction with an induction coil, through electrical signal transmission utilizing electrodes of the type provided for communication between devices 140 a and 140 b, through ultrasonic communication, and/or through such different means as would occur to those skilled in the art. In one embodiment, implant 140 c is only configured to receive communication signals. Alternatively or additionally, one or more of devices 140 a and 140 b can be arranged to only transmit or receive signals via electrodes 32.
In alternative embodiments, implant 140 c is provided in a hearing system with one or more ITE and/or CIC hearing system devices that communicate via electrode pairs. For such alternatives, microphone 180 is typically absent. One or more ITE or CIC hearing system devices in these arrangements can be used in addition to or in place of corresponding BTE hearing system devices.
As an addition or alternative to one or more ITE devices, CIC devices, BTE devices, and implants, a body-worn control device can be utilized.
Device 240 provides user control over system 220 and an off-body communication interface with off-body device 290. Device 240 can be provided in different forms, including but not limited to eyeglasses, a headband, a necklace and the like; or in the form of a wrist worn device 241 with a coupling wrist band or strap 241 a as shown in
Device 240 further includes signal processing/communication circuitry 268 coupled to control 242, indicator 243, and interface 245. In one nonlimiting form, circuitry 268 includes one or more signal processing units operable to execute programmed and/or hardwired logic to facilitate Input and/or Output (I/O) via control 242, indicator 243, interface 245, and perform any desired data modifications, conversions, storage, or the like; and includes any signal conditioners, filters, format converters (such as analog-to-digital and/or digital-to-analog types), amplifiers, power sources, or the like to implement desired operations as would occur to those skilled in the art. Device 240 communicates with devices 230 through a time-varying electrical signal transmitted through body B via electrodes 232 in the manner previously described in connection with systems 20 and 120.
Interface 245 operatively connects with off-body device 290 via a communication link represented by the doubled headed arrow designated with reference numeral 245 c. This communication link can be of a temporary or relatively permanent type. Off-body device 290 can be arranged as an audio satellite, providing a remote audio input to the user from a Public Address System (PAS), telephonic communication link, one or more remote microphones, an entertainment source such as a radio, television, MP3 player, tape player, CD player, etc. and/or a different type of audio satellite as would occur to those skilled in the art, just to name a few. Alternatively or additionally, off-body device 290 can provide data and/or parametric values used in the operation of system 220. Interface 245 can also be used in conjunction with device 290 to perform testing of one or more devices 230 and/or of system 220 collectively; communicate system or device diagnosis; and/or system/device performance data.
As in the case of system 20, ear-to-ear communication can be utilized between BTE devices 140 a and 140 b of system 120 to implement a fixed or adaptive beamformer routine or a different binaural routine. In still another embodiment, at least one of BTE devices 140 a and 140 b is configured with an earphone to stimulate hearing of user U with adaptation to operate in the manner described for devices 40 a and 40 b of system 20, and implant 140 c being absent. System 420 depicted in
Member 440 b is in partial schematic, sectional form in
Device 440 includes a pair of electrodes 432 configured to provide a dipole antenna designated by reference numeral 432 a. Electrode 432 carried with member 440 a is alternatively designated antenna constituent 442, and electrode 442 carried with member 440 b is alternatively designated antenna constituent 444. Further, antenna constituent 444 is shown embedded within member 440 b such that portion 446 of member 440 b is positioned between skin S1 along ear canal C1 and antenna constituent 444. Portion 446 is comprised of a dielectric material to facilitate capacitive coupling of antenna constituent 444 to body B. Electrodes 432 are composed of a metallic material or other suitable electrical conductor. Electrodes 432 are each operatively coupled to circuitry 448. In the case of antenna constituent 444, coupling to circuitry 448 can be accomplished by a cable or wire (not shown) that extends through or is carried with housing member 441 c.
System 421 can operate in the same manner as system 21 to enhance normal hearing and/or impaired hearing. Device 460 can be another device 440; device 40 b, 140 a, or 140 b; or another of the various hearing systems devices previously described, such as a CIC, control device (with or without an off-body interface), and/or implant, to name just a few. Communication between device 440 and 460 can be performed in the same manner as described for previous devices via electrode pairs with each pair operating as a dipole antenna in close proximity to or contact with body B.
Electrodes 532 are separated from outer surface 541 a of housing 541 along lowermost contour 541 d by portions 549 of housing 541. Electrodes 532 are positioned to contact interior surface 543 a of housing 541, and have more specific individual designations 532 a, 532 b, 532 c, and 532 d. In one form, electrodes 532 are plated or otherwise deposited on surface 543 a using standard techniques, and are comprised of a metallic material or other suitable electrical conductor. Portions 549 are comprised of a dielectric material configured to capacitively couple electrodes 532 to skin when device 540 is worn behind the ear of a user.
The partial sectional view of
In operation, circuitry 548 responds to an input from control 542, to successively cause different pairs of electrodes 532 to become active and correspondingly form a dipole antenna. Accordingly, an operator of device 540 can select between different pairings of electrodes 532 to find which electrode pair operates best for communication purposes with one or more of other device(s) 560 (
In other embodiments, not all of the possible unique pairings are offered as an option and the technique to switch from one to the next may differ. Alternatively or additionally, selection can be done with a different type of control and/or can be done in response to programming or another automatic procedure. In one example, the pairing is selected via an off-body unit. When a given electrode pair is active, the remaining electrodes are not typically utilized to perform communications—being in an inactive state. Naturally, in other embodiments more or fewer electrodes could be utilized than the four illustrated in
It should be understood that in alternative embodiments any of the communication techniques and arrangements of the present application could be utilized for systems other than those directed to enhancement of normal or impaired hearing. For example, user controlled computing devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) could be coupled to an intrabody network with a corresponding electrode pair operating as dipole antennae. Alternatively or additionally, medical diagnostic and/or treatment devices could communicate in such a fashion. Also, mobile phones, microphones, headphones, virtual reality devices and various other units that may or may not involve hearing and sound reception could utilize dipole antenna communication via electrode pairs of any of types described in connection with the systems 20, 120, 220, 320, 420, and 520 to participate in a body area network.
All publications, patents, and patent applications cited in this specification are herein incorporated by reference as if each individual publication, patent, or patent application were specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference and set forth in its entirety herein. Further, any theory, mechanism of operation, proof, or finding stated herein is meant to further enhance understanding of the present invention and is not intended to make the present invention in any way dependent upon such theory, mechanism of operation, proof, or finding. While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only selected embodiments have been shown and described and that all changes, modifications and equivalents that come within the spirit of the invention as defined herein and/or by the following claims are desired to be protected.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3123678 *||13 Dec 1955||3 Mar 1964||Prent|
|US4025721||4 May 1976||24 May 1977||Biocommunications Research Corporation||Method of and means for adaptively filtering near-stationary noise from speech|
|US4207441||13 Mar 1978||10 Jun 1980||Bertin & Cie||Auditory prosthesis equipment|
|US4304235||10 Sep 1979||8 Dec 1981||Kaufman John George||Electrosurgical electrode|
|US4334740||24 Apr 1979||15 Jun 1982||Polaroid Corporation||Receiving system having pre-selected directional response|
|US4354064||19 Feb 1980||12 Oct 1982||Scott Instruments Company||Vibratory aid for presbycusis|
|US4536887||7 Oct 1983||20 Aug 1985||Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Public Corporation||Microphone-array apparatus and method for extracting desired signal|
|US4559642||19 Aug 1983||17 Dec 1985||Victor Company Of Japan, Limited||Phased-array sound pickup apparatus|
|US4611598||22 Apr 1985||16 Sep 1986||Hortmann Gmbh||Multi-frequency transmission system for implanted hearing aids|
|US4703506||22 Jul 1986||27 Oct 1987||Victor Company Of Japan, Ltd.||Directional microphone apparatus|
|US4742548||20 Dec 1984||3 May 1988||American Telephone And Telegraph Company||Unidirectional second order gradient microphone|
|US4752961||23 Sep 1985||21 Jun 1988||Northern Telecom Limited||Microphone arrangement|
|US4773095||14 Oct 1986||20 Sep 1988||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Hearing aid with locating microphones|
|US4790019||8 Jul 1985||6 Dec 1988||Viennatone Gesellschaft M.B.H.||Remote hearing aid volume control|
|US4845755||23 Aug 1985||4 Jul 1989||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Remote control hearing aid|
|US4858612||19 Dec 1983||22 Aug 1989||Stocklin Philip L||Hearing device|
|US4918737||7 Jul 1988||17 Apr 1990||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Hearing aid with wireless remote control|
|US4982434||30 May 1989||1 Jan 1991||Center For Innovative Technology||Supersonic bone conduction hearing aid and method|
|US4987897||18 Sep 1989||29 Jan 1991||Medtronic, Inc.||Body bus medical device communication system|
|US4988981||28 Feb 1989||29 Jan 1991||Vpl Research, Inc.||Computer data entry and manipulation apparatus and method|
|US5000194 *||25 Aug 1988||19 Mar 1991||Cochlear Corporation||Array of bipolar electrodes|
|US5012520||25 Apr 1989||30 Apr 1991||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Hearing aid with wireless remote control|
|US5029216||9 Jun 1989||2 Jul 1991||The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics & Space Administration||Visual aid for the hearing impaired|
|US5040156||29 Jun 1990||13 Aug 1991||Battelle-Institut E.V.||Acoustic sensor device with noise suppression|
|US5047994||2 Nov 1990||10 Sep 1991||Center For Innovative Technology||Supersonic bone conduction hearing aid and method|
|US5113859||25 Jun 1990||19 May 1992||Medtronic, Inc.||Acoustic body bus medical device communication system|
|US5245556||15 Sep 1992||14 Sep 1993||Universal Data Systems, Inc.||Adaptive equalizer method and apparatus|
|US5259032||12 Nov 1991||2 Nov 1993||Resound Corporation||contact transducer assembly for hearing devices|
|US5285499||27 Apr 1993||8 Feb 1994||Signal Science, Inc.||Ultrasonic frequency expansion processor|
|US5289544||31 Dec 1991||22 Feb 1994||Audiological Engineering Corporation||Method and apparatus for reducing background noise in communication systems and for enhancing binaural hearing systems for the hearing impaired|
|US5321332||12 Nov 1992||14 Jun 1994||The Whitaker Corporation||Wideband ultrasonic transducer|
|US5325436||30 Jun 1993||28 Jun 1994||House Ear Institute||Method of signal processing for maintaining directional hearing with hearing aids|
|US5383915||28 Jan 1993||24 Jan 1995||Angeion Corporation||Wireless programmer/repeater system for an implanted medical device|
|US5400409||11 Mar 1994||21 Mar 1995||Daimler-Benz Ag||Noise-reduction method for noise-affected voice channels|
|US5417113||18 Aug 1993||23 May 1995||The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration||Leak detection utilizing analog binaural (VLSI) techniques|
|US5430690||13 Sep 1993||4 Jul 1995||Abel; Jonathan S.||Method and apparatus for processing signals to extract narrow bandwidth features|
|US5454838||26 Jul 1993||3 Oct 1995||Sorin Biomedica S.P.A.||Method and a device for monitoring heart function|
|US5463694||1 Nov 1993||31 Oct 1995||Motorola||Gradient directional microphone system and method therefor|
|US5473701||5 Nov 1993||5 Dec 1995||At&T Corp.||Adaptive microphone array|
|US5479522||17 Sep 1993||26 Dec 1995||Audiologic, Inc.||Binaural hearing aid|
|US5485515||29 Dec 1993||16 Jan 1996||At&T Corp.||Background noise compensation in a telephone network|
|US5495534||19 Apr 1994||27 Feb 1996||Sony Corporation||Audio signal reproducing apparatus|
|US5507781||18 Aug 1994||16 Apr 1996||Angeion Corporation||Implantable defibrillator system with capacitor switching circuitry|
|US5511128||21 Jan 1994||23 Apr 1996||Lindemann; Eric||Dynamic intensity beamforming system for noise reduction in a binaural hearing aid|
|US5550923||2 Sep 1994||27 Aug 1996||Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company||Directional ear device with adaptive bandwidth and gain control|
|US5627799||1 Sep 1995||6 May 1997||Nec Corporation||Beamformer using coefficient restrained adaptive filters for detecting interference signals|
|US5651071||17 Sep 1993||22 Jul 1997||Audiologic, Inc.||Noise reduction system for binaural hearing aid|
|US5663727||23 Jun 1995||2 Sep 1997||Hearing Innovations Incorporated||Frequency response analyzer and shaping apparatus and digital hearing enhancement apparatus and method utilizing the same|
|US5694474||18 Sep 1995||2 Dec 1997||Interval Research Corporation||Adaptive filter for signal processing and method therefor|
|US5706352||7 Apr 1993||6 Jan 1998||K/S Himpp||Adaptive gain and filtering circuit for a sound reproduction system|
|US5715319||30 May 1996||3 Feb 1998||Picturetel Corporation||Method and apparatus for steerable and endfire superdirective microphone arrays with reduced analog-to-digital converter and computational requirements|
|US5721783||7 Jun 1995||24 Feb 1998||Anderson; James C.||Hearing aid with wireless remote processor|
|US5734976||7 Mar 1995||31 Mar 1998||Phonak Communications Ag||Micro-receiver for receiving a high frequency frequency-modulated or phase-modulated signal|
|US5737430||16 Oct 1996||7 Apr 1998||Cardinal Sound Labs, Inc.||Directional hearing aid|
|US5755748||24 Jul 1996||26 May 1998||Dew Engineering & Development Limited||Transcutaneous energy transfer device|
|US5757932||12 Oct 1995||26 May 1998||Audiologic, Inc.||Digital hearing aid system|
|US5768392||16 Apr 1996||16 Jun 1998||Aura Systems Inc.||Blind adaptive filtering of unknown signals in unknown noise in quasi-closed loop system|
|US5793875||22 Apr 1996||11 Aug 1998||Cardinal Sound Labs, Inc.||Directional hearing system|
|US5825898||27 Jun 1996||20 Oct 1998||Lamar Signal Processing Ltd.||System and method for adaptive interference cancelling|
|US5831936||18 Aug 1997||3 Nov 1998||State Of Israel/Ministry Of Defense Armament Development Authority - Rafael||System and method of noise detection|
|US5833603||13 Mar 1996||10 Nov 1998||Lipomatrix, Inc.||Implantable biosensing transponder|
|US5878147||31 Dec 1996||2 Mar 1999||Etymotic Research, Inc.||Directional microphone assembly|
|US5889870||17 Jul 1996||30 Mar 1999||American Technology Corporation||Acoustic heterodyne device and method|
|US5914701||6 Aug 1997||22 Jun 1999||Massachusetts Institute Of Technology||Non-contact system for sensing and signalling by externally induced intra-body currents|
|US5991419||29 Apr 1997||23 Nov 1999||Beltone Electronics Corporation||Bilateral signal processing prosthesis|
|US6002776||18 Sep 1995||14 Dec 1999||Interval Research Corporation||Directional acoustic signal processor and method therefor|
|US6009183 *||30 Jun 1998||28 Dec 1999||Resound Corporation||Ambidextrous sound delivery tube system|
|US6010532||25 Nov 1996||4 Jan 2000||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Dual path implantable hearing assistance device|
|US6023514||22 Dec 1997||8 Feb 2000||Strandberg; Malcolm W. P.||System and method for factoring a merged wave field into independent components|
|US6068589||14 Feb 1997||30 May 2000||Neukermans; Armand P.||Biocompatible fully implantable hearing aid transducers|
|US6094150||6 Aug 1998||25 Jul 2000||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.||System and method of measuring noise of mobile body using a plurality microphones|
|US6104822||6 Aug 1997||15 Aug 2000||Audiologic, Inc.||Digital signal processing hearing aid|
|US6118882||25 Jan 1996||12 Sep 2000||Haynes; Philip Ashley||Communication method|
|US6137889||27 May 1998||24 Oct 2000||Insonus Medical, Inc.||Direct tympanic membrane excitation via vibrationally conductive assembly|
|US6141591||4 Mar 1997||31 Oct 2000||Advanced Bionics Corporation||Magnetless implantable stimulator and external transmitter and implant tools for aligning same|
|US6154552||14 May 1998||28 Nov 2000||Planning Systems Inc.||Hybrid adaptive beamformer|
|US6160757||20 Aug 1998||12 Dec 2000||France Telecom S.A.||Antenna formed of a plurality of acoustic pick-ups|
|US6161046||1 Feb 1999||12 Dec 2000||Maniglia; Anthony J.||Totally implantable cochlear implant for improvement of partial and total sensorineural hearing loss|
|US6167312||30 Apr 1999||26 Dec 2000||Medtronic, Inc.||Telemetry system for implantable medical devices|
|US6173062||16 Mar 1994||9 Jan 2001||Hearing Innovations Incorporated||Frequency transpositional hearing aid with digital and single sideband modulation|
|US6182018||25 Aug 1998||30 Jan 2001||Ford Global Technologies, Inc.||Method and apparatus for identifying sound in a composite sound signal|
|US6192134||20 Nov 1997||20 Feb 2001||Conexant Systems, Inc.||System and method for a monolithic directional microphone array|
|US6198693||13 Apr 1998||6 Mar 2001||Andrea Electronics Corporation||System and method for finding the direction of a wave source using an array of sensors|
|US6217508||14 Aug 1998||17 Apr 2001||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Ultrasonic hearing system|
|US6222927||19 Jun 1996||24 Apr 2001||The University Of Illinois||Binaural signal processing system and method|
|US6223018||12 Dec 1997||24 Apr 2001||Nippon Telegraph And Telephone Corporation||Intra-body information transfer device|
|US6229900||29 Jan 1998||8 May 2001||Beltone Netherlands B.V.||Hearing aid including a programmable processor|
|US6243471||6 Apr 1998||5 Jun 2001||Brown University Research Foundation||Methods and apparatus for source location estimation from microphone-array time-delay estimates|
|US6261224||3 May 1999||17 Jul 2001||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Piezoelectric film transducer for cochlear prosthetic|
|US6272229||3 Aug 1999||7 Aug 2001||Topholm & Westermann Aps||Hearing aid with adaptive matching of microphones|
|US6275596||10 Jan 1997||14 Aug 2001||Gn Resound Corporation||Open ear canal hearing aid system|
|US6283915||8 Mar 1999||4 Sep 2001||Sarnoff Corporation||Disposable in-the-ear monitoring instrument and method of manufacture|
|US6307945||3 Feb 1995||23 Oct 2001||Sense-Sonic Limited||Radio-based hearing aid system|
|US6317703||17 Oct 1997||13 Nov 2001||International Business Machines Corporation||Separation of a mixture of acoustic sources into its components|
|US6327370||24 Jul 2000||4 Dec 2001||Etymotic Research, Inc.||Hearing aid having plural microphones and a microphone switching system|
|US6332028||7 Apr 1998||18 Dec 2001||Andrea Electronics Corporation||Dual-processing interference cancelling system and method|
|US6342035||4 Feb 2000||29 Jan 2002||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Hearing assistance device sensing otovibratory or otoacoustic emissions evoked by middle ear vibrations|
|US6380896||30 Oct 2000||30 Apr 2002||Siemens Information And Communication Mobile, Llc||Circular polarization antenna for wireless communication system|
|US6385323||12 May 1999||7 May 2002||Siemens Audiologische Technik Gmbh||Hearing aid with automatic microphone balancing and method for operating a hearing aid with automatic microphone balancing|
|US6389142||31 Mar 1998||14 May 2002||Micro Ear Technology||In-the-ear hearing aid with directional microphone system|
|US6390971||4 Feb 2000||21 May 2002||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Method and apparatus for a programmable implantable hearing aid|
|US6397186||22 Dec 1999||28 May 2002||Ambush Interactive, Inc.||Hands-free, voice-operated remote control transmitter|
|US6754472 *||27 Apr 2000||22 Jun 2004||Microsoft Corporation||Method and apparatus for transmitting power and data using the human body|
|US6826430 *||30 Mar 2001||30 Nov 2004||Advanced Bionics Corporation||High contact count, sub-miniature, fully implantable cochlear prosthesis|
|US7206423 *||10 May 2000||17 Apr 2007||Board Of Trustees Of University Of Illinois||Intrabody communication for a hearing aid|
|1||Capon, J., "High-Resolution Frequency-Wavenumber Spectrum Analysis", Proceedings of the IEEE, 57(8):1408-1419 (Aug. 1969).|
|2||E. Post et al., Intrabody Buses for Data and Power, Physics and Media, MIT Media Laboratory, Cambridge, MA, at least as early as 1997.|
|3||Frost, Otis Lamont III, "An Algorithm for Linearly Constrained Adaptive Array Processing", Proceedings of the IEEE, 60(8):926-935 (Aug. 1972).|
|4||Griffiths, Lloyd J. and Jim, Charles W., "An Alternative Approach to Linearly Constrained Adaptive Beamforming", Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, AP-30(1):27-34 (Jan. 1982).|
|5||Hoffman, M.W.; Trine, T.D.; Buckley, K.M. and Van Tasell, D.J. "Robust adaptive microphone array processing for hearing aids: Realistic speech enhancement", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 96(2)(1):759-770 (Aug. 1994).|
|6||J. Paradiso et al., Musical Applications of Electric Field Sensing, Physics and Media Group-MIT Media Laboratory, Apr. 1996, Computer Music Journal.|
|7||Kollmeier, Birger; Peissig, Jürgen and Hohmann, Volker, "Real-time multiband dynamic compression and noise reduction for binaural hearing aids", Journal of Rehabilitiation Research and Development, 30(1):82-94 (1993).|
|8||Lindemann, W., "Extension of a binaural cross-correlation model by contralateral inhibitioj. l. Simulation of lateralization forr stationary signals", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 80(6)1608-1622 (Dec. 1986).|
|9||Link, Michael J. and Buckley, Kevin M., "Prewhitening for intelligibility gain in hearing aid arrays", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 93(4)(1):2139-2145 (Apr. 1993).|
|10||Peissig, Jürgen and Kollmeier, Birger, "Directivity of binaural noise reduction in spatial multiple noise-source arrangements for normal and impaired listeners", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 101(3):1660-1670 (Mar. 1997).|
|11||Soede, Wm.; Berkhout, Augustinus J. and Bilsen, Frans A., "Development of a directional hearing instrument based on array technology", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, (94(2)(1):785-798 (Aug. 1993).|
|12||Stadler, R.W. and Rabinowitz, W.M., "On the potential of fixed arrays for hearing aids", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 94(3)(1):1332-1342 (Sep. 1993).|
|13||T. Starner et al., Augmented Reality Through Wearable Computing, MIT Media Lab Perceptual Computing Section Technical Report No. 397, 1997, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA.|
|14||T. Zimmerman, Personal Area Networks (PAN): A Technology Demonstration by IBM Research, IBM Systems Journal, 1996, MIT Media Lab, vol. 35, No. 3 & 4.|
|15||T.G. Zimmerman et al., Applying Electric Field Sensing to Human-Computer Interfaces, MIT Media Lab-Physics and Media Group, IEEE Sig, May 1995.|
|16||T.G. Zimmerman, Personal Area Networks: Near-field intrabody communication, IBM Systems Journal, 1996, MIT Media Lab, vol. 35, No. 3 & 4, pp. 609-617.|
|17||Tichavsky, Petr; Wong, Kainam Thomas; and Zoltowski, Michael D., "Near-Field/Far-Field Azimuth and Elevation Angle Estimation Using a Single Vector Hydrophone", IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 49, No. 11 (Nov. 2001).|
|18||Zimmerman, T.G., "Personal Area Networks: Near-field intrabody communication", IBM Systems Journal, 35(3,4):609-617 (1996).|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7978064||12 Jul 2011||Proteus Biomedical, Inc.||Communication system with partial power source|
|US8352046 *||29 Jan 2010||8 Jan 2013||Advanced Bionics, Llc||Sound processing assembly for use in a cochlear implant system|
|US8412352||15 Mar 2011||2 Apr 2013||Medtronic, Inc.||Communication dipole for implantable medical device|
|US8515559||27 Jan 2012||20 Aug 2013||Medtronic, Inc.||Communication dipole for implantable medical device|
|US8639335||20 Apr 2011||28 Jan 2014||Medtronic, Inc.||Disabling an implanted medical device with another medical device|
|US8674825||13 Mar 2009||18 Mar 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Pharma-informatics system|
|US8718193||19 Nov 2007||6 May 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Active signal processing personal health signal receivers|
|US8730031||11 Jul 2011||20 May 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Communication system using an implantable device|
|US8802183||11 Jul 2011||12 Aug 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Communication system with enhanced partial power source and method of manufacturing same|
|US8816847||3 Jun 2011||26 Aug 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Communication system with partial power source|
|US8836513||11 Jul 2011||16 Sep 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Communication system incorporated in an ingestible product|
|US8868453||4 Nov 2010||21 Oct 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||System for supply chain management|
|US8912908||11 Jul 2011||16 Dec 2014||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Communication system with remote activation|
|US8945005||25 Oct 2007||3 Feb 2015||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Controlled activation ingestible identifier|
|US8956287||2 May 2007||17 Feb 2015||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Patient customized therapeutic regimens|
|US8977369||20 Dec 2012||10 Mar 2015||Advanced Bionics Ag||Sound processing assembly for use in a cochlear implant system|
|US9014779||28 Jan 2011||21 Apr 2015||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Data gathering system|
|US9060708||25 Jul 2014||23 Jun 2015||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Multi-mode communication ingestible event markers and systems, and methods of using the same|
|US9083589||6 Mar 2014||14 Jul 2015||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Active signal processing personal health signal receivers|
|US9107806||18 Nov 2011||18 Aug 2015||Proteus Digital Health, Inc.||Ingestible device with pharmaceutical product|
|US9113262||17 Oct 2013||18 Aug 2015||Sonitus Medical, Inc.||Methods and apparatus for transmitting vibrations|
|US20110116659 *||19 May 2011||Sonitus Medical, Inc.||Methods and apparatus for processing audio signals|
|US20130030321 *||30 Jul 2012||31 Jan 2013||Ming Zhang||Concha electrode|
|U.S. Classification||607/136, 607/55|
|International Classification||H04R25/00, A61N1/05, H04R25/02|
|Cooperative Classification||H04R25/558, H04R25/552, H04R25/606, H04R2225/67|
|6 Nov 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, T
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MALICK, CRISTA;QI, XIE;PARIKH, MITESH;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:014674/0374;SIGNING DATES FROM 20030813 TO 20030908
|6 Mar 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: PHONAK AG, SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CALLIAS, FRANCOIS;REEL/FRAME:017686/0144
Effective date: 20060210
|12 Nov 2012||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|31 Mar 2013||REIN||Reinstatement after maintenance fee payment confirmed|
|31 Mar 2013||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|21 May 2013||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20130331
|7 Jul 2014||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
|7 Jul 2014||PRDP||Patent reinstated due to the acceptance of a late maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20140707
|7 Jul 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4